Va. AG Cuccinelli expresses support for eminent domain amendment

By at September 14, 2012 | 9:50 pm | Print

Excerpt from Legal Newsline

“NORFOLK, Va. (Legal Newsline) – Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli this week came out in support of a proposed constitutional amendment on property rights, which would make it more difficult for governments to take private land in the state.

The amendment includes four reforms:

- Private property can only be taken for true public uses, not for enhancing tax revenues, economic development or private gain;

- The cost of taking property must be borne by the public, not by the individual property owner. Fair and full compensation must be given when property is taken or damaged — this includes loss of business profits and loss of access (which will be defined by the General Assembly through legislation);

- No more property can be taken than is necessary for the project; and

- The burden of proof that the taking is for a true “public use” is on the entity taking the property.

As a state senator, Cuccinelli sponsored a bill in 2007 to create a law that protected homeowners, farmers and business owners from having their property taken by government and handed over to private entities for the primary purpose of increasing tax revenues or creating jobs.

Although the 2007 law was considered a major step forward in the protection of private property rights in the state, because it is a statute, it can be chipped away by future sessions of the General Assembly, the attorney general explained.

Putting property rights protections in the state constitution ensures that the only way they can be changed is by a vote of the people, Cuccinelli said Thursday.”

Excerpt fromĀ Legal Newsline

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